Vintage and antique french spindles

Filandiŕ¨re quenouille spindle spinning France Fileuse Pontivy French spindle spinner Fileuse fuseau Bretagne Spindle spinner France
I live in France. It seems there is quite a tradition of spinning at home here in the past. Many years ago, knowing my passion for all things woolen, my grandparents were so kind as to give me the antique spinning wheel that sat in the family chalet: I was told this type of wheel was used to spin flax. However living in a tiny flat I had no room for it, and learned to spin on a spindle instead.
French vintage spindles from ChezPlum
Since then, I learned to love spindle spinning, and began to be interested in the history of spinning in France, especially spindle spinning. It’s VERY difficult to gather information on spindle spinning in the past, probably because it was such a huge part of everyday life: every woman and girl would learn to spin at an early age, and do it every day of her life. There just woudn’t be any need to document such a common basic daily activity.
One way to get more information was to collect vintage spindles. Which is what I started to do years ago. I have now dozens and dozens of them, of all sorts of shapes and origins (all from France though!).With such a large collection, I started keeping one part for myself and sharing the other antique french spindles with other collectors through my Etsy store.

Selling a few of my vintage spindles also helps funding my ever growing collection, AND the purchase of vintage and rare documents about the history of spinning in France when I happen to find them.Vintage postcards of french spinners have also added to my collection: despite many artificial settings, they are a great way to try and gather more information on how, when and by whom those spindles were used.
Collection of documents on french spinning Postcards vintage french spindle spinning
With all this information, I’m now in the process of writing an ebook gathering pictures of my spindles and postcards, along with detailed information on how they were used (suspended or not ? was always a great question about those french spindles!), and the different shapes and accessories of those spindles. Plus quotes from french litterature, a large bibliography and hopefully interviews from people who still know how to spindle spin.


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Meanwhile, here’s some photos of the ones I’ve come accross in the past. Enjoy :-)

vintage french spindle by ChezPlum vintage french spindle by ChezPlum

3SpindlesEtsy 3spindles
spindles1b spindle3 - patterns design - © Sylvie Damey

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